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WORKPLACE / JAN. 20, 2015
version 7, draft 7

How to Hold Multiple Plates as a Waiter

waitress
strictlyautobiographical

Carrying multiple plates may seem impossible to many people, but to a waiter in a busy restaurant, the skill is essential. It is one of the first techniques you should master to become an accomplished waiter; it may enable you to serve many customers easily and effectively. This is how you may learn how to hold many plates as a waiter.

Arrange the plates in order

When you arrange the plates, ensure you place them in the order in which you will offload them when serving. On your left hand, hold the first plate with your thumb and index finger. This plate should be the heaviest. The thumb should be on the outside edge and the index finger should hold the bottom rim of the plate. Put the send plate on the remaining three fingers that you left exposed. The edge of the second plate should be supported against the bottom rim of the plate you positioned initially. Balance the third plate against the edge of the second plate and your wrist. Since your right hand is free, you may carry a fourth plate with it.

Switching

If you are left-handed, you may simply switch by carrying the first three plates with your right hand and the fourth with your left.

Clean the edges of the plates

To avoid the plates slipping against each other, ensure the edges are clean. According to HospoNews, greasy food or liquid on the edges may cause the plates to slide easily and fall from your hands.

Power and Control

To maintain power and control, you should carry plates and other loads at the height of your waist. While you are doing so, ensure that your back and arm are straight. In this way, you will be able to balance the plates properly. Carry the plates so that the one on top does not touch the food beneath it. Novices are advised to carry fewer plates initially.

Load Stacking

If you are still new to this technique, you should probably not stack the plates too high. You would find it too hard to control the plate load when they are too high and heavy.

Take It Slow

It is advisable to move cautiously when you are carrying multiple plates with steaming food. If you trip or collide with a diner or fellow waiter, someone could be seriously hurt. Apart from physical injury, the reputation of the hotel could suffer.

Use a Towel or Napkin

Carrying multiple plates could be fun when you have mastered the art after weeks and months of practice. However, it may not be enjoyable if you are carrying hot dishes. A small towel may protect your hands from being burned.

Balance points

Knowing the basic balance points will enable you to carry four or even more than five plates at a time. Plate three is the most stable of the three because it has more balance points.

When you carry three or four plates simultaneously, you may not be using balance. It is usually a matter of technique involving the use of balance points. The technique could be the determining factor between an ordinary waiter and a highly trained one.

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